Nearly one-quarter of the world's carnivores and hoofed mammals have moved closer to extinction since the 1970s.

Moreno Di Marco at Sapienza University of Rome and his colleagues looked at the conservation statuses of about 500 species of carnivores and ungulates over the past 40 years. The researchers found that for every species that saw improvements in status, eight deteriorated. Large animals are also sliding towards extinction faster than their smaller counterparts, and the sharpest declines in conservation status were seen in southeast Asian species.

The authors attribute these shifts to factors such as changes in international trade regulations, hunting, habitat loss and geopolitical events such as the collapse of the Soviet Union, which resulted in the loss of protected areas.

Conserv. Biol. (2014)